GM Francois Giguere (in a refreshingly frank interview) told us yesterday that four of our UFAs would likely be moving on today. And, in a span of less than two hours, they did just that.
First up, around 2:15 eastern time, was Andrew Brunette. It was clear that Bruno would be leaving this summer, and there was talk that he'd be going back to Minnesota. Sure enough, he signed a 3-year, $7 million contract with the Wild. $2.33 million per year is less than the $3 million+ I thought Bruno might land on the open market and, honestly, I would have really loved to see Bruno stay. But, it was clear that one (or both) parties was not interested in continuing the relationship and now Brunette is gone. Of the four losses today, this is the one I am the most upset about.
About 45 minutes later, Kurt Sauer signed a 4-year deal with the Coyotes for $1.75 million per year. That's about where I was thinking. With the core group we had, this wasn't much of a shock. Sauer wasn't going to stick around as a 7th defenseman. I'm glad to see him get a chance to play in Phoenix.
And then, just minutes later, the big news of the day: Jose Theodore was headed to Washington. Theodore signed a 2-year deal at $4.5 million a year. I'm happy to see him get a nice deal, but I'm even happier that it won't be the Avs paying that salary.
Finally, around 3:45 eastern time, news hit that Jeff Finger had been signed by the Leafs. We had known that Giguere wanted to re-sign Finger, but that he, like Sauer, wanted a chance to play. So, Finger moves on and what a nice little signing by the Leafs...wait a minute...he's going to be making how much? $3.5 million dollars a year? Wow. I like Jeff Finger and think he'll be missed by the Avs. Most of all, though, I look forward to seeing him back with Colorado in two years when the Leafs buy him out.